This is a sad news for all Eric Clapton fans.
Slowhands has revealed he is suffering an incurable damage to his nervous system which has left him struggling to play guitar. Clapton was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and that playing guitar, which once came so easy to him, is now “hard work.”
Eric Clapton Suffers Nerve Damage
Peripheral neuropathy refers to damage in one’s peripheral nerves and often results in stabbing, burning or tingling pain the arms and legs. For Clapton, the pain came in the form of “electric shocks.”
The symptoms often “appear suddenly, progress rapidly, and resolve slowly,” according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which also noted that it can be debilitating but is seldom fatal.
Eric Clapton, who has publicly fought addictions to cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs and alcohol, said that although he is grateful to be alive, he has been debilitated by his illness.
He said: ‘I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year. It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy – which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg. And I’ve had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old.’
Clapton, Turning 72, said that it is now a ‘hard work’ to play the guitar and he has had to ‘come to terms’ with the fact that his condition will not improve.
‘Because I’m in recovery from alcoholism and addiction to substances, I consider it a great thing to be alive at all. By rights I should have kicked the bucket a long time ago. For some reason I was plucked from the jaws of hell and given another chance,’ he said.
Clapton said: ‘I can still play. I mean, it’s hard work sometimes, the physical side of it – just getting old, man, is hard.’
The Legendary rock guitarist first rose to fame in the 1960s with the bands John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind Faith before launching a successful solo career in the 1970s.
While his career boomed in the Seventies, Mr Clapton’s
personal life descended into addiction and a string of doomed affairs, including with model Pattie Boyd, who was married to The Beatles guitarist George Harrison.
He converted to Christianity but his heroin addiction became so severe that he was forced to temporarily give up performing, famously passing out while performing at a charity concert in Madison Square Garden in 1971.
He said: ‘I kind of regret losing an awful lot of time to just being a vegetable – pickled.’
Eric Clapton, who has just released his 23rd album, I Still Do, said the record is far from a farewell to his career but the title is a tribute to friends, family and other musicians who have passed away in recent years.